Most of us know this by now: long-distance relationships suck. As much as you tell yourself you won’t get jealous when you see him post pictures on Facebook with other guys, and as passionately as you promise to call him every night, nothing will prepare you for the lonely nights—especially if you have spent any length of time together.
There are few ways to portray LDRs as pleasant experiences, but there are steps you can take to make them easier until the time comes when you will be back in the same place. Which brings me to my first and most important tip:
If the time you are going to be apart is open-ended—if there’s no set end date—the long-distance relationship will not survive. You both need something to look forward to, to tick days off your calendar for. Without an end goal, the distance will look overwhelming and endless, an eternity of lonely nights that will eventually not seem worth it, especially when you could be meeting other guys.
I have a rule: if the person you’re dating wants you to be sexually monogamous, then they have to stay in the same place as you. In other words: no one has the right to call you theirs and only theirs while simultaneously withholding sex from you. To do so is selfish and inconsiderate.
If you’re going to do long distance, you need to be comfortable opening up your sexual boundaries. You can set your own rules for how much you tell each other about the sex you are both having, but I recommend total honesty and full disclosure. Why? Because what you don’t say will sit on your conscience and create needless guilt. You will start to feel ashamed of something that needn’t (and shouldn’t) be shamed.
As a couple, you should encourage and celebrate each other’s sex lives, not stifle them. No one wants to be with someone restrictive, unexciting, or judgmental. If the person you’re dating can’t bear the thought of you sleeping with other people, or if they shame you for it, you have legitimate grounds to question whether or not this is going to work.
Time differences might keep you from watching the same movie at the exact same time, but try to watch the same movie within the same 24-hour period. Netflix, Hulu, or any other streaming service is the perfect way to do this.
Take a selfie before the movie starts and send it to him. Do whatever cute, cheeky things you can to make it feel more like a shared experience—because it is. Just not in the same location.
This is true of all relationships, but it especially applies to long distance. You’re going to visit his Facebook page a million times, check his Instagram every night, and have his profile starred as a favorite on Grindr and Scruff. You’re going to get jealous and you’re going to get scared—scared that he doesn’t like you anymore, scared that you’ve been gone too long, or scared that he’s fallen in love with someone else.
You must be able to talk about these feelings without fighting about them. If you keep them to yourself, they will build and boil, and one day you will yell on the phone for no reason and do more harm than good. If he’s a good guy, he will listen and talk about his feelings too—chances are he’s feeling similar things—and the conversation will be a good one. It might be difficult to have, but it will only bring positive results because honesty always brings good.
If he doesn’t listen, gets angry, or dismisses your feelings entirely, you have a fair idea of what kind of person you’re trying to date.
Sexting is wonderful at any time, but in a long-distance relationship, it is vital. Let him know you still think about him sexually, and that you can’t wait until you guys are naked together again.
This is important. Everybody wants to be seen as sexy, especially by the person they’re dating. When you are apart, it is easy to feel unattractive—there’s no one there to kiss you and touch your butt and tell you that you look good even when you think you look terrible. When you are far apart, remind him often that you think he’s sexy, that his new pictures on Facebook or Instagram are hot, and that you want to do nasty things to him when you’re back together.
Skype can be the gateway to great sexual experiences, especially if one of you likes to be dominant and the other likes to be submissive. Buy some sex toys, plan a Skype date, and prepare for it like you would prepare for a long night of sex.
Make sure your computer is plugged in. When you are finally video calling, the dominant boyfriend should give instructions and the submissive boyfriend should obey them—on camera. Trust me, it’s a very hot experience and one you’ll want to have again and again.
It’s a cruel thing to do. If it’s not working, if you’ve met someone else, or if the distance has simply given you time and space to reconsider your relationship, the guy waiting for you deserves to hear the news in person.
Think of long-distance this way: he is holding his breath and waiting to let it out. He is in a bad novel and waiting to get to the end. Whatever analogy you use, the point should be clear: he is waiting to see you again, one way or another.
To break up with him over distance is to completely deny him closure while simultaneously leaving him completely alone to hurt, wonder, and miss you—now in a completely different way. Even if you have to spend a lot of money to fly back for a day and tell him, do it. Some would argue that the distance will help him forget you faster, but this is false—the first thought in his head will be: if you could see him just one more time in person, you would still want to date him. Regardless if this is true or not, the thought will turn to agony, and he will replay in his mind the last thing he said to you and the last time you touched over and over again, understanding it now to be the last time you ever will.
Long-distance relationships are hard, but they are not impossible. Like all relationships, they require intense amounts of communication, honesty, and understanding. Gay culture tends to be hypersexual, which can be both a good and bad thing for long-distance boyfriends. Every long-term gay couple I know that has survived distance and stood the test of time are sexually open to some extent, so if you are able to separate sex from love, and can love him from a distance while allowing his body to find pleasure elsewhere, then you have a better chance. If you can’t, the hypersexual side of gay culture will be seen as a threat lurking around every corner and will cause both of you a lot of stress.
And when you are finally together again, make a big deal out of it. Buy a suit. Buy flowers. Spend your first day back together indoors and screw his brains out and kiss him till morning. He deserves that, too!